To Santa, or not to Santa? That is the question.

When I was little, Santa was definitely part of our Christmas celebration. While we did center our holiday on Christ, Santa filled our stockings and left presents for each (and sometimes all) of us. He even used different wrapping paper than my mom, although their handwriting was similar. In later years he got lazy and used decorative Christmas boxes to do his wrapping, but somehow he always got them back after Christmas.

I don't remember when I found out the "truth" about Santa, but I don't remember being traumatized. And he even still gave me presents.

As far as I know, Tom was also raised with Santa in his Christmas, but he's not so sure about introducing him to our kids. In his mind there is little point in lying to our children about some being who has nothing to do with the real meaning of Christmas, when they would get just as many presents, and be just as happy without him.

And I can see his point. How do you introduce the Santa concept without blatantly lying to your children? It's one thing to continue/encourage an erroneous belief, but another to instill it in the first place.

But on the other hand, come on, it's SANTA for crying out loud. I don't think that believing in Santa ever hurt anybody, and it's only for fun, and I don't want my kindergartener to be the one ruining everyone else's delusions.

This is the first year that we've had a child old enough to really get the whole Santa concept. Before this, all presents have just been from us, and we haven't really talked about the issue. But if we're going to do Santa, then we have to start now, and if we're not...

What were your Santa beliefs growing up? How did you introduce it to your children? Or did you? What are the pros and cons in your mind? Please share!


Twilight, the movie

Yes, it is true, I did go see Twilight opening night. Not the 12:00 am showing, just the 7:50 pm. There were plenty of swooning teens (and non-teens) who cheered and/or screamed when Edward first appeared on screen, as well as at other key moments, but overall, I think I only missed one line due to excessive cheering. Not too bad, I must say.

And as you may expect, I have opinions. (Who, me? Shocking, I know.) Overall, I liked the movie, if only for the fact that I loved the book. Is it as good as the book? No. But how could it be? To condense a--what was it, 600-some odd?--page book into 2 hours is quite the feat I'm sure. To cast actors who portray the characters as seen in the heads of millions of different fans is virtually impossible. But they did their best.

I thought it was a little cheesy (as expected,) very funny, (unexpectedly) and well cast. I loved Bella, and Edward grew on me. I think I would have like him better if they had spent more time on the first half of the story. It felt too abrupt and skipped too many scenes (like the blood-typing!) to fully develop Edward's character and the tension between him and Bella (or is it he and Bella?). I think it would have been much better as a three hour movie. But maybe that's just me.

I would love to hear from someone who had NOT read the book, but did see the movie. I'm of the opinion that it would have been hard to follow and ridiculously cheesy for someone without more Twilight background, but I could be wrong.


Picture Perfect

It's been quite some time since I've made a pie. I like making pies, but, as far as fruit goes, crisps are much easier to put together last minute (which is how I roll).

A month or more ago Tom volunteered to help out at the Bishop's Storehouse, (part of our church's welfare system) and they sent him home with a box of apples that he had helped pick from one of their trees. They were just little things, but man! you could not eat them, they were so tart! They have been sitting there in the back of our fridge just waiting for me to make pie, and Monday, I finally got around to if for Family Home Evening treat.

Now, half the fun of cooking is to make pretty food. I know that we're just going to eat it, but if it looks beautiful, it just makes it all the better. Usually my apple pies just turn out mediocre-looking. Of course they taste great (why wouldn't they?) but I just haven't mastered pie crust. Not this time! When I finished with the top, I was so dang impressed with myself that I had to take a picture. And it was even prettier when it came out of the oven. I'll spare you them many pictures I took and just leave you with this one:Doesn't it look tasty?


You thought I was kidding

For those of you who do not (*ahem*) religiously read all comments made on my blog, I thought this one was worth sharing. Some of you may have wondered why my brother Grant would disown me for listening to Christmas music, so here you go:

oh gosh, you guys make me sick. There is a reason that Christmas only comes once year....So I don't have to put up with the music for the rest of the year! I don't see you bustin' out my favorite music 3 months in advance of my birthday! I mean, if you want to be thinking about and celebrating Christ,I am all about that, but that DOES NOT mean that it has to be with Christmas music! I have lots and lots of other, talks, music, and books that bring a better spirit of Christ than all of the other glamorized and hyped up Shopko music combined to the millionth power.
Janelle, I just looked on my iTunes and I have around 2GB's of Christmas music....and that is after i cut out half the stuff that Dad had on there. I don't know why I even waste that space to hold the rest of it, but some small little part of me wants to have it when Christmas does come.

Now, contrary to popular belief, there is actually some Christmas music that I can listen to at any point of the year, but that is because it is actually good enough to stand on it's own 2 feet and not rely on the Holiday festivities to prop up what is otherwise a ridiculous song that inspires only the desire to find the creator and have them shot! Okay, okay, so most of the Christmas music isn't that bad, but some of it definitely falls into that category. But really, why would you want to listen to songs about reindeers and Santa Claus when...not there is not even a when on that statement, it should be "why would you ever want to listen to that?"

Well, I think I have ranted and raved long enough. Know that most of this is an extreme exaggeration of what I really think solely for your entertainment and enjoyment. But at the heart and soul of it I really do wonder why...


I would just like to point out that Josh Groban's CD includes such religious, Christ-centered songs as Silent Night, Little Drummer Boy, Ave Maria, Angels We Have Heard on High, What Child is This?, the First Noel, It came upon a Midnight Clear, Panis Angelicus, and O Come all ye Faithful. That's 9 out of 13, thank you very much!


For Kristy

I spent some time in the bathroom this morning perfecting my self-portrait skills, and this is the result. They look normal to me, but probably not to the rest of you, since it's the whole mirror thing, but just flop it in your head.


What are you waiting for?

Patience is not my forte.

I don't mean to say that I am overly impatient with my husband and children (though I do occasionally lose it,) but when it comes to events, the sooner the better.

Like the example given in the previous post. It's early November, and I'm so excited for Christmas that I am getting in the spirit by listening to Christmas music.

Granted, my excitement for Christmas this year may be slightly motivated by other events. Like my Dec. 28th due date. The closer it gets, the sooner I want it to come. When I found out I was pregnant, I was bound and determined to have the baby in January. I did NOT want a December baby. Besides that, I wanted our children to be born in 2005, 2007, and 2009--not 2008. Now, I'm all but ready to have the baby now. Though I'm sure it would be best for the baby to wait. But at least 2 weeks early, please. And it's not just because I'm sick of being pregnant, (which I am,) I'm just so dang excited to have a cute little baby girl.

Another classic example: I've been wanting to cut my hair for a while, but since I'm indecisive, I don't know any hair-cutter-people, and I quake at the thought of trusting my only head of hair to someone I've never seen before, I haven't gotten around to it. Monday, I decided I was done waiting. Did I ask around to see where other people get their hair done, then call and make an appointment? No. Did I wait till my husband got home and run to the nearest Great Clips? No. I have no patience for the above options, so I cut it myself. And since I decided to do it on the spur of the moment, (again, because I have no patience) I was forced to use my normal everyday scissors, since my hair-cutting scissors were in Rico's room, where he was napping. It's not perfectly even, it's not exactly straight, but dang it, it is shorter!

(I tried to take a picture of my newly shortened hair, but I also have no taking-a-picture-of-myself-in-a-mirror-or-otherwise skills. So if you want to witness my hair-cutting skills, it will have to be in person.)

Feel free to disown me

I know that my brother Grant will.

I started listening to Christmas music on November 5. I waited until after election day, and since then I have been thoroughly enjoying my small, but excellent, collection of Christmas music.

If you must know, the first CD to be played was Josh Groban. Can you blame me?


Catching up

I know I missed a couple of key blogging opportunities recently, what with Halloween and a very controversial election, but better late than never, right?


Let me start by admitting that Tom and I are bad parents who deprive their children of every possible fun activity. Not really, but this is the first year that we have carved pumpkins and dressed the kids up for Halloween. And we didn't even take them trick-or-treating. (See? Bad parents.)

We carved pumpkins a week before Halloween with some other families from our ward (church congregation, see here) but I neglected to bring my camera so I have no documentation of the carving itself. Ella was interested and designed her own (decided what shapes she wanted) but left the actual carving up to me. Rico really didn't know or care what was going on, he was much more interested in climbing on the coffee table with Lexie, (Or is it Lexi? I don't know.) so I got to carve his too. (Although I did ask his opinion before carving, I don't think he was too concerned.) Tom was on baby watch, to make sure that the boy didn't completely reprogram the remotes of our unsuspecting hosts. I think the pumpkins turned out quite nicely: the bigger one is Rico's.The next night was our ward potluck and trunk-or-treat (where the kids go from car trunk to car trunk collecting candy). We dressed both kids up {Ella was a fairy princess, (she had wings on, but you can't see them in the picture,) and Rico was a train conductor,} and went to the potluck, but scooted out of there before the trunk-or-treating commenced. I had plans to do Ella's hair all fancy, but she is pretty opinionated, and she just wanted two pigtails on top, so that's what she got. I once again forgot the camera, but luckily a sister in the ward was going around taking pictures of all the kids, so she sent it to me.

For Halloween itself, Ella had a fever, so I was actually quite glad that she was not anticipating a night of trick-or-treating. She let me do her hair earlier that day, but when it came time to don costumes to answer the door, she refused, so I never did get a good picture of her all decked out. Maybe next year. Both the kids LOVED answering the door and would jump up from whatever they were doing and race for the door. We played a nice family game of Candyland between trick-or-treaters, and even Rico got into it. (I got roasted.)The next day Tom came down with a fever and flu-like symptoms and was out of commission. After taking a 4 hour nap, he came out and laid in the living room, where he and Ella commiserated on their miserable state. Luckily his was less than 24 hours in duration, and he was feeling much better on Sunday. Ella's fever lasted through Monday, but she was pretty happy and cheerful through it.

Election Day

Tom and I both voted this year (of course), though we did our best to cancel each other out on the big races. Neither of us vote a straight ticket, so he voted for Obama and Rossi (Republican running for governor, for you poor non-Washingtonians,) while I voted for McCain and Gregoire (Democrat and incumbent governor). With so many Washingtonians voting absentee this election (all but two counties voted 100% by mail, and next year the entire state will vote by mail) the governor's race didn't get called right away, but in the end, Gregoire won. The last time these two faced off, Gregoire won by 129 votes on the third recount. I'm glad it wasn't that big of a fiasco this year.

Like many of you, I am interested to see how this administration change trickles down to our everyday lives. I'm not saying that I think we were right or wrong in electing who we did, I just hope that we haven't reached the point talked of in the Book of Mormon that "if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity. . . they would be ripe for destruction. . . . Yea, and I say unto you that if it were not for the prayers of the righteous, who are now in the land, that ye would even now be visited with utter destruction." (Alma 10:19, 22)


The early bird

I think Rico must really be after some worms, because, man! he no longer believes in sleeping in. There was a time, like two weeks ago, when both of my adorable angels would sleep until eight. And it was heaven.

Then Rico started waking up at 7:30, which was okay, because he would make noise for 15 minutes, wake Ella up, she would amuse him for another 15 minutes, and I would still get up at 8. After three or four days of that, he thought it would be fun to wake up at 7:15 one morning, the next, it was 6:30.

Hello folks! I don't operate at 6:30 in the morning. Especially when I'm pregnant! That was Saturday morning. I realized with the time change, unless I did something drastic, he would likely be up at 5:30 the next morning, so we kept the kids up late, and he gloriously slept until 7 (which translates to 8 if you factor in the time change).

I made the mistake of thinking we were good to go. Um, no. Yesterday he was up at 6:15, and this morning? Oh yeah, that would be 5:52. I don't even think that 5:52 am should exist. I almost don't want to know what he has in store for me tomorrow.